Geekin'! Podcast and Blog

The Daily Read for March 4, 2013

862367

So is that Chewbacca on that cover or the Big Foot that wrestled the Six Million Dollar Man back in the 1970s??

Star Wars #3 continues the nostalgia filled goodness of Marvel’s original Star Wars run. Thomas’ script is solid and sticks close to the film script. Chaykin’s art (except for Chewbacca) is strong. I really enjoyed this issue. The story is picking up speed (Luke and the gang’s arrival on the Death Star and their rescue of Princess Leia), Thomas and Chaykin are finding a rhythm, and the issue was just a lot of fun.

I know; not much of a review. But this isn’t Mozart here folks; it’s breezy 70′s comics fun and i’m loving every minute of it…

…Unlike the following…

Dynamite12 Dynamite13

My God, why can’t the actual comic be as wonderful as these covers?!?! Those Francesco Francavilla covers are just beautiful!!

Alas, the comic is anything but…

I really dig Dark Shadows. I discovered the show by way of the 1991 mini-series (which i absolutely adore). Several years later, the original series turned up of the Sci-Fi Channel (now ridiculously re-branded SyFy) and i decided to check it out. Now, for reasons of full disclosure, i prefer the Mini-Series. The cast is amazing, the writing is great, and production is stellar  It comes off as a of Masterpiece Theater horror series. But the original series does have its charm. The actors are quite good and the cheap “shot live” on a cramped sound-stage feel gives the show a community theater feel that, for whatever reason, adds intimacy. In short, i really like the show.

As the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp film neared release (which i haven’t seen, by the way; Burton hasn’t made a decent film since Ed Wood), Dynamite began a comic based on the original Dark Shadows. At first, i really enjoyed the book. In fact, the first half-dozen or so issues were really good. But the book has fallen off dramatically.

Stories never seem to end as much as they fade away, replaced by another story which will inevitably be left unresolved as well. I am all for serial story-telling (Battlestar Galactica and Deep Space Nine – two shows which refined serial storytelling – are my all time favorite television shows) but this title just seems lazy. Instead of giving the reader stories which thrill the senses and deepen our understanding of the characters, the writers throw gore and blood and a series of supernatural phenomena at the reader, hoping something will stick to the wall. In the resulting mess, none of the charm of the actual series the book is based on remains. Change the characters names and likenesses and no one would know this is Dark Shadows.

Looking back, the moment this book began to fall apart was with the departure of Stuart Manning as writer. Manning (a long time Dark Shadows fan who runs a fansite) penned the first four issues. They were, easily, the best issues of the Dynamite series (an impressive feat, as i don’t believe he has written any other comics). His replacement, Mike Raicht, has written every issue since and each issue has been weaker than the one before.

I will give this title a couple more issues (what can i say: i’m a glutton for punishment), but it is on the clock.

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This entry was written by Random Superman and published on March 5, 2013 at 7:10 pm. It’s filed under Comic Review, The Daily Read and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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